Found July 19, 2012 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
Retired NFL players typically have plenty of options when it comes to using their football talent and skill set after their playing career is over. Many become analysts on television and radio, while others transition into a coaching or front office role.
However, Green Bay Packers all-time leading rusher Ahman Green found an innovative way of using his football background: teaching a young baseball player the best ways to train.
Prior to the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes was in the Dominican Republic. While waiting for contract offers to determine which team he'd join, Cespedes now with the Oakland Athletics -- was working out and preparing himself for the transition to baseball in the big leagues.
In one of Cespedes' workout videos produced by his agency, Green mysteriously popped up 24 minutes into a 28-minute showcase of Cespedes' athletic prowess.The two were working their way across a rope in the Jarabacoa River.
But how did Green, a four-time Pro Bowl running back who lives in Wisconsin, become Cespedes' trainer in the Dominican Republic?
"It was through a friend of a friend," Green told FOXSportsWisconsin.com in a recent phone interview. "I knew somebody working with him. That person invited me down to the Dominican Republic to help train (Cespedes) for a month over the summer of last year (2011)."
When the idea was originally brought up to Cespedes, he had no idea who Green was. Then Cespedes was shown football highlight film of Green on YouTube, and soon the two were training.
"Once he saw who I was, he was ready to meet me and understood that I was coming there to work out with him and give him pointers here and there," Green said. "I think I helped him. He was always thankful of my time there."
One of the biggest goals for Green during training with Cespedes was to dispel what he believed to be a myth about working out extensively being a negative thing for baseball players.
"I know baseball players, and they don't really train as we do as football players," Green said. "I let him know if he trains anywhere close to how a football player trains, that he'll be more than in shape for baseball.
"A baseball player's mindset, it's good, but it's not on our level in terms of doing everything; lifting weights, running. They look at weights sometimes that it hurts that naturalness in you. They worry about that. They worry about not looking too heavy and not running so much, all those little things that actually help if you do it the right way."
Green also helped acclimate Cespedes to certain aspects of American popular culture.
"Coming from Cuba, he wasn't really exposed to the things that the average American youth is exposed to," Green said. "Simple things like the Internet, TV, certain things like social networks. He's been introduced to all that now with me.
"I was playing Angry Birds on my phone and he'd ask me, What's that?' Then I'd show him and he'd be on my phone the rest of the day. The way of life in Cuba, things are so different."
A few months after finishing his training with Green, Cespedes landed a four-year, 36 million deal with the A's.
Though the two haven't spoken recently, Green tracks Cespedes' statistics on a daily basis through an app on his phone.
"I think we're friends because we always had a good time laughing and joking," Green said.
Cespedes' rookie season in Oakland has already had a lot of ups and downs. He has been injury-prone, missing 33 of the A's 91 games so far due to hamstring, knee and hand injuries. However, through 216 at-bats, Cespedes leads Oakland in batting average at .288 and is second on the team in home runs (11) and RBI (42).
Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
Believe it or not Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was the first person that I thought of when the terms of Drew Brees’ new contract were announced.
The reason being is that at 33 years-old Brees is getting $20 million a year for what will most likely be his last huge payday.
At this point will Rodger try to squeeze as many as two record breaking paydays out his NFL lifespan?
There is no question the Green Bay Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL heading into the 2012 season. Will the only team to go 15-1 last year, go 16-0 this season? Let’s take a look.
Perhaps the most significant factor in a run at perfection is the strength of schedule.
Based on last years records, only New England has an easier schedule. Green Bay opponents combined...
This is the eighth in a series of 13 previews leading up to the Green Bay Packers' July 26 start of camp.July 10: Quarterbacks
July 11: Running backs
July 12: Wide receivers
July 13: Tight ends
July 16: Offensive linemen
July 17: Defensive linemen
July 18: Linebackers
July 19: Safeties
July 20: Cornerbacks
July 23: Specialists
July 24: Coaches
July 25: 5 things to accomplish...
By now, everyone, especially the Green Bay Packer faithful, are well aware of the Packers’ 32nd ranked defense, thanks in large part to giving up over 500 yards of total offense in their last regular season game against the Detroit Lions. There is no doubt that the focal point of this training camp will be the re-tooling of this defense, with the key additions of rookies like...
It's been more than four years since Brett Favre last wore a Green Bay Packers uniform, but according to the three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, he still has no relationship with the franchise he spent 16 years leading to 172 wins and one Super Bowl championship."I don't really have one," Favre told Deion Sanders in an interview on the NFL Network. "It'...
Mike Holmgren is already a very important part of Green Bay Packers history, but on Saturday, the teams former head coach will have a spot in the Packers Hall of Fame. Nearly 14 years after coaching his last game in Green Bay, Holmgren will join Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Reggie White and many other legendary former Packers with an induction ceremony in his honor.Holmgren led the...
One of these days — though not anytime soon — the Packers plan on extending an olive branch toward Brett Favre, who spent 16 seasons solidifying his legacy in Titletown only to have it come down in one fell swoop. Although Favre departed on not-so-great terms, GM Mark Murphy wants to formally retire his number, as most teams do with its iconic players.
The sentiment appears...
With three young building blocks — T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga — the Packers' offensive line could be one of the NFL's better units
Led by Jermichael Finley, the Packers will take seven tight ends to training camp. Last season, they carried five on the regular-season roster.
Brett Favre says he has no relationship whatsoever with Packers.
It really shouldn’t have surprised anyone when the New Orleans Saints caved and gave QB Drew Brees that amazing contract last week. Sure, it was a little surprising that Tom Benson made Brees the highest paid player in NFL history, but everybody involved in that whole situation needed some good news, so it was bound to happen.
What was surprising was the news that Green Bay Packers...
To take his game to the next level, the Packers would love Jermichael Finley to take a step back to his dominant start to the 2010 season. Plus, our breakout performer, player on the bubble, sleeper and more as we analyze the tight end group.
The deepest and best group in the league is led by Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson and their combined 24 touchdown receptions.